Club Sport of the Week: Ski Team

With A-Basin, Copper, and Loveland Ski Resorts already open (and many more right around the corner), the Colorado School of Mines Ski Team is ramping up for their season! The club is one of the four co-ed sports offered through Club Sports at Mines, with 10 men and 9 women on the team. This gender ratio is the highest in the club’s history, contributing to the largest team seen in several years. The team competes in both Slalom and Giant Slalom races at Loveland, Powderhorn, Telluride, and Winter Park in January and February.

Slalom skiing is an alpine skiing discipline, consisting of skiing between poles (called “gates”) spaced much closer together than Giant Slalom. This spacing causes quicker and shorter turning by the skier. The word “Slalom” comes from the Norwegian word “slalåm”, where “sla” means slightly inclining hillside and “låm” means track after skis. The inventors of modern-day skiing classified the trails based on the difficulty – a slalåm was a trail used in Telemark (a country in southern Norway) by children not yet able to try themselves on more challenging runs. This, however, does not mean Slalom racing is by any means easy! The skiers often take a fairly direct line and knock the poles out of the way as they pass, leading to an average winning speed for Olympic Slalom skiers of 25 MPH. Giant Slalom involves the same gate system as Slalom, but is more spaced out. The first Giant Slalom race was set on the Marmolata in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains in 1935. The first run in the world championships in 1950 in our very own Aspen, CO was the Giant Slalom. The race debuted at the Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway in 1952. Although these two races are not the fastest in skiing, the well-trained Giant Slalom racer can average speeds of 50 MPH!

CSM Ski Team is a part of the Rocky Mountain Conference under the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, competing against schools such as CU, CSU, Air Force, DU, and many others. The team will be racing at Winter Park from 1/19/2013 to 1/20/2013, Loveland from 1/26/2013 to 1/26/2013, Telluride from 2/3/2013 to 2/4/2013, Powderhorn from 2/16/2013 to 2/17/2013, Red Lodge (MT) from 2/21/2013 to 2/23/2013, and Sun Valley (ID) from 3/4/2013 to 3/9/2013. The race in Red Lodge, MT is the Regional Championships. The team will qualify to go to this race if they place 5th or better in the conference series races. Historically, the team has always made it to Regionals. By placing better than 4th at Regionals, the team will go to Nationals in Sun Valley, ID. The team has not made it to Nationals in recent years, but is looking to do so this year.

In order to fund their racing, the team has two large fundraisers that they host. The first is the TGR movie premiere that they show on campus every year. The film this year was Jeremy Jones’s Further. The second fundraiser they have is the Loveland race. The team runs the race and every year will ask for volunteer course workers from the school. Keep an eye out for the email in January.

The team always encourages new members to join, although due to registration deadlines with USCSA, they are unable to accept any new members this season. If you are interested in joining next year, please email for more information.

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